It is 10 pm.
Since that is my bedtime, I am about to leave my office for bed, when my son's door opens. He groggily walks from his room to get a drink of water from the bathroom. He sees me in my office and stumbles in to give me a kiss on the cheek and returns to his room. Hopefully he goes right back to sleep.
The next morning when I wake him for school he doesn't really remember doing that, but he is yawning in a way that tells me his body does remember the interruption. He is tired. And, while I am not sure of what prompted him to wake and leave his room, I remind myself that I am lucky to have such a good sleeper overall.
Sleep is important. Like, crazy important. Adults tend to know this, but we struggle with the right way to convey that importance to our children. I know many toddler bedtime disaster stories from many parents, and they all have the same theme: Toddlers hate bedtime.
While all parents know that the goal is to build bedtime routines early (and often) it is so much easier said than done. Toddler are notoriously smart: Why should they go to bed when there is still fun to be had?
All I can do is offer parents some encouragement: Stick with the bedtime routine as much as you can. I know you think it is not working, but you are doing a great job. While we may think that the goal is to just build a habit, we forget that the subgoal is to have children learn their own sleepiness cues. This way they will not become those adults who stay up all night because they aren't aware that they are truly tired.
How is your child's bedtime routine going? Tell me in the comments.